US student who led racist chant apologises

2015-03-26 05:00
Levi Pettit (Elisabeth Dillon, AP)

Levi Pettit (Elisabeth Dillon, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Oklahoma City - A former University of Oklahoma student who led a racist chant apologised personally to the leader of the state's Legislative Black Caucus and plans to meet with more civic leaders before speaking publicly about the incident for the first time, a state senator said on Wednesday.

The incident caused a national uproar and threw an unwelcome spotlight on fraternities - male social clubs that are a fixture at many American universities - that have recently been under fire over issues like sexual assault and race issues.

Senator Anastasia Pittman said the student, Levi Pettit, called her personally to apologise after he and another fraternity member were caught on video earlier this month leading a chant that referenced lynching and used a racial slur to say black students would never be admitted to the university's Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter.

Pittman said she has arranged for Pettit to meet with black students, elected officials, local pastors and civil rights leaders in Oklahoma.

"I wanted him to be educated on some of the struggles they've endured," Pittman said. "I think that will enlighten him and give him a new perspective on a culture that he is completely unaware of."

After the meeting, Pittman said Pettit also will speak at an afternoon press conference at a Baptist church on the city's predominantly black northeast side.

Pettit's parents issued an apology on his behalf two weeks ago after the video's release. A second student from the Parker Rice, also issued a statement apologising for his role in the chant.

University President David Boren severed ties with the fraternity, ordered its members to vacate the fraternity house and expelled two students for leading the chant. The university also launched an investigation into the role other fraternity members may have had in the chant, and Boren says further disciplinary action is possible.

On Wednesday, Stephen Jones, a lawyer for a now-disbanded fraternity, says an agreement has been reached that calls for no further student expulsions, but declined to comment further about the details. He confirmed no additional members of the university's chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity will be expelled under the agreement.

The national Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity also disbanded its OU chapter and announced it is taking steps to become more inclusive, including requiring all of its members nationwide to go through diversity training and setting up a confidential hotline for people to report inappropriate behaviour.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.